Volkswagen will release its second hybrid model, the Jetta Hybrid this fall. The 2013 Jetta Hybrid was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show and will be the most fuel-efficient Jetta available. The Jetta Hybrid retains the styling from the gas and diesel-powered Jetta models, which is a good thing for Jetta fans and hybrid shoppers that aren’t fans of the shape of the Toyota Prius. The Jetta Hybrid features a turbocharged 150-hp 1.4L engine that’s mated to a 27-hp electric motor and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Volkswagen estimates that the Jetta Hybrid will have a combined fuel economy rating of 45 mpg and it can reach 0-60 mph in nine seconds.
Volvo has yet to offer a hybrid model in North America, but that’s about to change. Volvo gave us a preview of a plug-in hybrid version of the XC60 crossover, in concept form. The XC60 plug-in hybrid concept is propelled by a 280 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine that sends its power to the front wheels, while the rear wheels are powered by a 70 horsepower electric motor. Drivers can select between three driving modes: Pure, Hybrid or Power. Volvo clams that in Hybrid mode the XC60 plug-in hybrid has a combined fuel economy rating of 50 mpg, and in Power mode (the most powerful setting), the XC60 can reach 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Volvo hasn’t announced an exact release date, but it’s expected to arrive in two years.
In the 1990’s Honda proved that Japan had what it took to compete with the world’s best supercars with the Acura NSX. The mid-engine two-seater was unlike anything ever released by Honda. It featured an aluminum body and was the first Honda to feature Honda’s VTEC variable valve timing system. It was produced from 1990-2005, but now seven years after the last NSX was built, the NSX is slated to return!
Honda unveiled an NSX concept at the Detroit Auto Show that is a preview of the next NSX. This time rather than just featuring a mid-engine V6 engine, the next-generation NSX will be powered by a hybrid powertrain. Honda has announced plans for a new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) hybrid system. The system will employ a next-generation 3.5L VTEC V6 with direct-injection mated to a dual clutch transmission with a built-in electric motor that will send its power to the rear wheels, while two electric motors will send negative or positive torque to the front wheels during cornering.
Looks like the days of slow, ugly, and boring to drive hybrids are numbered!